Wednesday, June 07, 2006

New Yorker fiction

Papa lands the machete on Maman’s head. Her voice chokes and she falls off the bed and onto her back on the wooden floor. It’s like a dream. The knife tumbles out of Papa’s hand. His eyes are closed, his face calm, though he’s shaking.
Maman straightens out on the floor as if she were yawning. Her feet kick, and her chest rises and locks as if she were holding her breath. There’s blood everywhere—on everybody around her. It flows into Maman’s eyes. She looks at us through the blood. She sees Papa become a wizard, sees his people telling him bad things. The blood overflows her eyelids, and Maman is weeping red tears. My bladder softens and pee flows down my legs toward the blood. The blood overpowers it, bathing my feet. Papa opens his eyes slowly. His breaths are long and slow. He bends down and closes Maman’s eyes with shaky hands.
“If you let any Tutsi live,” they tell him, “you’re dead.” And then they begin to leave, some patting him on the back.

Another excellent selection of fiction from the New Yorker

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